Thursday, September 30, 2010

Overheard in my office ...

Background: I abhor a silent office, so I always bring my iPod to work with me. I have a little iPod stereo on my desk to keep me sane during the day, and always have some background music playing.

Teenage girl: Are you listening to Lil' Wayne?
Me, confused: Ummm ... no. This is Dave Matthews Band.
Teenage girl: Oh.

Sidenote: Are there two "musicians" any more different than Dave Matthews and Lil' Wayne? I invite you to ponder this for a moment.

and, later, with the same girl...

Teenage girl: Do you have headphones for your iPod?
Me: Well, I do at home.
Teenage girl: Oh, dang. I like your music, I wanted to take it and listen to it during class.
Me: ??? Um, no, I don't think so.

Confusing. Very, very confusing.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I don't understand: Work Edition

1. If you told me last semester that you left your backpack at a friend's house, and that's why you can't ever do any homework again, do NOT come to me this semester and tell me that your backpack got STOLEN. Do not also add that you had completed several hours of missing work that you were JUST about to turn in when your backpack got stolen. The thing is ... I don't believe you. The backpack excuse really only works once. I'm just saying.

2. When you are going to a meeting at school with your child, your child's teachers, your child's counselor, and your child's assistant principal, why can you not find anything to wear besides a pair of pink flannel cartoon character pajama pants?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Water, water everywhere ...

... and it's all in my freaking ear.

I got water stuck in my ear this morning in the shower, and 16 hours later, IT'S STILL THERE. I haven't been able to hear out of my right ear ALL DAY and it has really, really messed me up. I have consulted the internet AND various swimmer friends, and guess what? None of those methods worked. I tried putting a few drops of rubbing alcohol in my ear to dry up the water ... to no avail. I tried laying on my side ... FOR TWO HOURS ... to no avail. I even called my doctor to make sure I wasn't permanently losing my hearing. Yes, I know, this probably sounds ridiculous. But this. sucks. hardcore.

I have felt a little off balance all day, complete with a nice throbbing headache. I am desperately hoping that when I wake up tomorrow morning (after a night of sleeping only on my right side, of course), I will be able to hear out of my ear.

Oh, and my doctor (or rather, her triage nurse) said that the water should work itself out in the next day or so, but if I start having pain, I need to go to the walk-in clinic. Also, if I still can't hear in two days, I have to go to the walk-in clinic. Argh.

Anyway, that's what I've been dealing with today.

Oh, and guess what? I have now crossed TWO things off of my deployment goal list:

1. Finish the Closet of Doom and Despair - CHECK! It is now the Closet of Peace, Love, Happiness and Organization.

2. Audition for the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra - CHECK! I auditioned last night and they called me a couple of hours later to tell me that I got into the first violin section. Yay! I am really excited. Not sure when I'll be able to start, as I have a bit of a scheduling issue for the next concert, but I am really looking forward to getting back into the swing of playing. :)

Okie doke, that's all I've got right now. How are you?!

UPDATE: I woke up this morning (Wednesday) and I CAN HEAR OUT OF BOTH EARS!!!!!!! Freaking finally. Thank goodness.

I hope this is the last time I will write a post solely about a part of my anatomy ... but then again, I can't promise anything.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Funday

Aren't weekends the greatest? I had what seemed like a very rough, long week last week - you know, the kind where every day seems like a Monday? It sucked. I think it's just been allergy stuff that's been getting me down ... every morning I have woken up and my eyes have felt really swollen. Despite getting good sleep, I would wake up feeling exhausted - but it was all in my eyes. Know what I mean? Also, there MAY have been a couple of nights that involved late bedtimes because I couldn't put down The Hunger Games ...

But anyway. The point is, I was just DYING for the weekend. And I have to admit that it's been a good one. On Friday, after picking up my CSA share (it was a really crappy one this week - totally not photo-worthy), I finally did what I had been daydreaming about all day ... crawled in bed with The Hunger Games, read for awhile, and then took a nice long nap. I woke up, finished the book, and then ... went back to sleep. It was glorious!

On Saturday, I woke up and went to a pilates class - I had just gone to another one on Thursday, and wow, my abs are s-o-r-e. It's awesome. :) The rest of the day was spent watching football, and then Becky and Kyle came over for a little girls night. So fun!!!

And today? Well, today Oscar and I played in the country. We headed out to my SIL Meleah's, which is always so much fun. Meleah, my BIL David, nephew Cooper and I rode horses, while Oscar and their dog Macy ran around in the woods with us. Oscar got SO dirty, as he always does out there, and had fun chasing various animals (goats, roosters, geese) and swimming in the pig pond. The usual. I had to give him a bath when we got home (Kyle came over to assist ... talk about a true friend!!!) and now, for some reason, he is limping. Excellent. Yet another dog health problem? Let's hope not.

In other news (if you have made it this far in this boring post), I got bloodwork done at the doctor the other day, and my calcium and iron are low. Perhaps this is why I am always so damn tired? Unsure. Anyway - I knew calcium would be a problem since I have gone primarily dairy free. The nurse suggested a calcium supplement, so I went to GNC yesterday and got one they recommended.

So, besides calcium, I take a prenatal as a multivitamin, omega-3, vitamin b-12, and magnesium. The doctor also said that, despite my issues with dairy, yogurt should be okay to eat. So, I went out today and restocked up on yogurt - thank goodness! I love yogurt and it has been sad without it. SO. My question to you is - where can I get more calcium and iron from? I don't eat a lot of meat, and I don't eat a lot of dairy anymore. Please help! I have always been a bit anemic, and I'm also pretty tired a lot of the time. Matt always used to make fun of me when he was home, because every time I sit down on the couch to read a book, I fall asleep. Could this be from my lack of iron??! Anyway, just a few thoughts. Any helpful hints/tips you have would be much appreciated!

How was your weekend?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


So, due to me being a Wordpress newbie, I kind of messed up my first Fantabulously Frugal post. BUT now it's up, for real! So check out a few Shaina blurbs about the Tucker for Target collection. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Hello, friends! I am so sorry that I've been so absent this week. Every day, I try to upload photos of The Closet to show you, but for some reason they aren't showing up and so I keep putting the post off.

So. Instead of blogging about The Closet, I will direct you over to Fantabulously Frugal. Tomorrow (Friday) morning, my very first FF post will be going up about Target! And we all love Target, right? So be sure to head on over there tomorrow morning. And really, you should be reading FanFru anyway. You seriously cannot beat the amazing deals!

Happy almost Friday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Deployment in Review: Month 8

Wow. Eight months. 35 weeks. Matt has been gone a long time! And it's suckier than ever. That being said, this has been a pretty fun month!

-The school year started! Time has definitely been flying, thank goodness!

Hmm. Okay. Upon review of my calendar and blog, I just realized that literally the ONLY thing I did this month was go to Chicago for the 5k and girltime.

Well. This is a short post.

OH. And guess what else I did? I CLEANED OUT AND ORGANIZED THE CLOSET OF DOOM AND DESPAIR! I finished this afternoon. Life is good. I will take some before and after photos sometime soon so y'all can be impressed.

But for now, I am going to enjoy a roasted acorn squash with some apples from my CSA. And tonight, Jenn, Ryan and Cora are coming into town for the weekend! And I'm running another 5k tomorrow with my friend Jenna - she is a beginning runner so we are going to just take it slow and have fun. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

I love Swagbucks

Do you use Swagbucks? If not, you should. It's a search engine site, and you earn points (called, erm, Swagbucks) while searching or doing normal internet stuffs. You don't win points every search, but you will usually strike gold at least a few times a day. You can also earn Swagbucks by doing things like ... trading in old cell phones, shopping, taking polls and surveys, etc. Fridays are MEGA Swagbucks days, which means you can earn a ton of Swagbucks at one time!!! Today I searched for something simple and won 50 Swagbucks. Nice!

Now ... what's the point? Well, you can redeem your Swagbucks for a multitude of awesome things - anything from gift cards to DVDs to health and beauty stuff. So basically, anything under the sun. If you don't use Swagbucks ... well then, CLICK HERE and sign up! It's free! And you get stuff! For doing things you already do! It's kind of amazing. Go. Now. Do it. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fantabulously Coveted

Hey y'all! Do you read Fantabulously Coveted? You should. I have recently started contributing to this site and it's so much fun! Basically, we just post pretty things that we love. I know. Fun, right?

Anyway - check it out!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chicago Recap

So, Chicago was super duper amazing. Which I believe I said the other day ... but you know, it's still true. d.a.r. has some amazing recaps HERE and HERE if you wanna check them out! For some reason, Blogger is refusing to post some of my photos tonight, so I am missing some super cute ones from Friday night. Hopefully I can get those to upload tomorrow!

Anyway - on Friday, I picked up d.a.r. from the airport and we had some awesome sushi for lunch. Yums! Afterwards, we headed back to the airport to get MTM and then we went to check out our hotel, the Palmer House Hilton. So fancy! That night, we walked downtown and ate some superfantabulous pizza at Lou Malnati's. So delicious ... I can almost taste it. It was the perfect night - girlfriends, pizza, and a pitcher of Blue Moon!

Okay, these photos are out of order, but ... this was from Saturday afternoon on the way back to the hotel after an 8 mile walk - er, shopping trip. This is one of my favorite photos from the weekend!
Unfortunately, the weather on Saturday morning was kinda crappy - we made it about halfway to Navy Pier to head to the race expo but then gave up and cabbed it the rest of the way. We were freezing and soaking wet from the rain - ICK. Before we gave up and hailed a cab, we had to take the obligatory bean self-portrait. Clearly.

Saturday night, we had some AMAZING sushi - man it was so good! MTM totally approved of her mini spring rolls. Yums.
More food, more booze ... we basically ate and drank our way through Chicago. It was awesome.
Race morning came WAY too early ... we had to get up at 4:30am in order to catch the shuttle to the start! Ridiculous. It was cold - really cold. Here is a lovely photo of us huddling together for warmth in the hotel before heading out into the cold. We look so happy and awake, no?
Loooooong line of school busses for us. The shuttle left at 5:30 despite the fact that the race didn't start until 8! So, needless to say, it was a reeeeeeeally long morning.
MTM, trying to stay warm - and awake - before the race started. What can I say ... it was kinda tough.
Finally, hours later (and still before the race started!), MTM and I enjoyed some pre-race cokes. Tasted like heaven.
We're ready to run!!!
And ... ta da! We're done! With our finishers medals ...
... and some free cookies. DELISH. I am STILL so excited about my 32:37 PR!
We had a great time relaxing after the race ... at least, I THINK we had a great time. It's kind of hard to tell. :)

Afterwards, we boarded the shuttle back to the hotel. It took EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS. Okay, maybe not, but it was a really long ride and I think we all had a little trouble staying awake. It was tough. Really tough.
Thankfully, we crashed afterwards and enjoyed some down time!
Aaaaaand once we got out of bed again, showered and checked out of our hotel, we had the most deeeeelightful brunch at Southport Grocery and Cafe. Yummmmmmmmmy.
One last pose before I had to take these wonderful girls back to the airport. Sads. Oh, and yes, we DID wear our medals all day. :)
The weekend fun didn't end there! I headed over to stay with Lisa on Sunday night, where we watched the RHONJ reunion and ate some good bbq. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos. Except this one, of Lisa's dog, Bacon. Bacon tends to steal things. I walked into the guest room and found him enjoying his new favorite toy ... my bra. Sad.
Anyway, that's it! I realize that this recap kinda sucks ... but it has taken me about 2 hours to upload the photos and pay attention enough to write it up. So basically ... go read what d.a.r. wrote. :) All in all - Chicago was great. It was SO nice finally "meeting" d.a.r. and MTM - two girls I talk to ALL the time. d.a.r. has really helped me through some deployment downs and I think we have talked pretty much every single day since Matt got his deployment orders last July 2009. MTM and I met more recently ... but still, we talk pretty much every day too!

The best part about blogging? The amazing friendships I have made. The worst part? NONE OF THEM LIVE BY ME.

That being said ... I am already counting down the minutes until I get to see these girls again!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Well my darling readers and friends, my weekend in Chicago with d.a.r and MTM was SO AMAZING! The best part? It's not even over yet. I've been hanging out with Lisa since yesterday afternoon, and we're heading to brunch this morning before I head home.

I wish I could put this weekend into words ... but frankly, it was so fabulous that I'm not even sure words would appropriately describe it! Spending the weekend with these amazing women was fun, fabulous, and exhausting. And that was just the shopping! Ha. I don't really have any photos yet - we let d.a.r. take all the photos with her fancy camera. But yeah, just know that we had a really great time.

Oh, and the race? The reason we went in the first place? We all had our best 5k race! My official chip time was 32:37 (beating my previous 5k time of 37:44 ... wow!!!!) and I couldn't feel better about it. Now, one day later, I'm only regretting that we were all so happy/excited/exhausted afterwards that we basically just sat around and never stretched. I can't move. Oh well! Totally worth it.

I will definitely be blogging more about this weekend ... still trying to come down off of this high! :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Chicago bound!

Well friends, I'm off! I am leaving in a few hours for Chicago ... CANNOT WAIT.

I wish I had some profound things to say about the weekend, but to be honest with you ... it's 4:45am and I woke up this early to do laundry and pack before I get on the road around 9. Because I went to bed at 8:30. Because I was sooo sleepy that I couldn't possibly GET READY TO GO. Because I am totally ridiculous.

So, here it is, before 5am, and I'm awake and getting ready to put a load of laundry in. Sigh. Sometimes, I wonder if I will ever get the hang of packing ahead of time ... ? Any other last minute packers out there?

Anyway - to say I'm excited about heading to Chitown today would be a gross understatement. I cannot wait to get there, see Lisa and d.a.r. and MTM, and just have a really fabulous girls weekend. Because you know what? I really need it. Oh yeah, and I think we're going for a run in there somewhere, too. :)

So on that note ... off to throw in some laudry. And I guess tidy the place up a bit. And maybe I have time to color my hair? Hmmm. Have a GREAT weekend!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Football food?

I was SO excited to watch the first Michigan football game of the season yesterday! And while I thought about making some tailgate food for myself, in the end ... all my beautiful fresh veggies won me over. The other day, Kyle showed me this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for roasted carrot and avocado salad, and ... I wanted it!

First, I took my beautiful carrots and scrubbed them clean ... and then I peeled them because they were still kinda dirty.
I chopped them up into 1-2 inch segments and threw them in this pretty red bowl.
Then, tossed them with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper...

Preheated the oven to 400* and threw them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Okay, this is actually a roasting pan. But you know ... whatevs.
Around 35 minutes later, they looked all pretty and tasty and browned, like this!
I put the carrots in a bowl, sliced half an avocado and threw it on top ... then cut a lemon in half and squeezed it over the carrots and avocado. Drizzled with more olive oil, threw a little more salt and pepper on top ...
... and, ta da! DELICIOUSNESS! This was really, really, really good.
The flavors were really interesting - I don't think I've ever had avocado and carrots together before. YUM. My only regret was that I didn't get more carrots from the farmer's market. They're all gone now!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

CSA + Farmer's Market

Is it just me, or is food SO pretty sometimes?

This week from my CSA: potatoes, green peppers, eggplants, sweet potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, and POPCORN!
This morning from the farmer's market: beets, lemon cucumbers, carrots, San Marzano roma tomatoes, butternut squash, onion, apple.

Eight Questions!

Wow ... I hope it is as perfect of a Saturday wherever you are as it is in Bloomington. That sounded awkwardly wordy, but I think you know what I mean. It is in the mid-high 50s right now, and I am gearing up to head out to the farmer's market and then an art fair. Fun!

b.e.g. tagged me to answer the fun little 8 questions things that's been going around the interwebs. But before I tackle that, I want to wish my dear, sweet friend Lucy Marie an amazing birthday!!!!!! Now go on over there and wish her a happy birthday, too. :)

Okay, here goes nothing ...

1. What is your go-to source for gossip - celebrity or otherwise?
I get all of my important gossip from Crazy Days and Nights. It's a great gossip blog!

2. What actress would you like to play you in a movie?
Well, a lot of people over the years have told me that I look like Julianne Moore - I'll take that as a compliment. So, I choose her!

3. What size shoes do you wear?
9, and 9.5 in athletic shoes. Wah.

4. Would you rather be rich and miserable or poor or happy?
CLEARLY I would rather be poor and happy. If I had wanted to be rich and miserable, I wouldn't have gone into SOCIAL WORK for gawd's sake. :)

5. What is your favorite meal in all the world?
Oh goodness ... this is a really tough one. For normal, every day stuff to eat, I love pizza. For my favorite restaurant meal, I would have to say all the sushi at Yamazato in Alexandria, VA. For my favorite meal experience EVER, the tasting room at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, VA.

6. What was the lowest grade you received in school and why?
In college, I failed my statistics class. Because it was hard, I never understood it, and both my professor and TA had incredibly heavy accents that only complicated things. However, I basically took the same class in grad school and got an A. Go figure. :)

7. What did you do on your 21st birthday?
Can you believe that I don't really remember? And not because I was so drunk that I CAN'T remember. I just ... don't know. But I believe my parents came and we went to dinner. And a couple of months later, my dad and I went to London for a long weekend - that was my birthday present from them. And it was fabulous!

8. What item is on the top of your "I want!" list right now?
Well, that's an easy one. I want my husband home ... asap.

I realize that I'm supposed to make up 8 more questions and tag 8 more people, but I'm not going to. Because I'm lazy, I don't feel like it, and I want to leave to go to the farmer's market now. SO - have a great weekend, friends!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A touch of the sads

I've been feeling a touch of the sads lately ... just ready for this deployment to be over. And in all fairness ... I have been ready for it to be over since before it began. But lately, I'm even MORE over it. If that's even possible! I sent Matt a mix CD last month and this song was on it ... and I think it's become a bit of a deployment anthem.

I'm tired of being in love and being all alone
When you're so far away from me
I'm tired of making out on the telephone
Cause you're so far away from me

Sigh. Such a good song. So seriously ... is it November/December/whenever-coming-home-time is yet?

Work has been so busy since the kids came back to school ... I have seen my old kids, a bunch of new kids, sat in on a bunch of meetings, completed a bunch of home visits, done a ton of notes, and I've started my data spreadsheet. Whew. Over the summer, when I got to work I would frequently try to open my office door with my apartment key.

Today? I got home and tried to open my apartment with my office key. A coincidence? I think not. I'm ready for the weekend.